Sunday, 29 April 2012


Final tally  - 17.

All traps lifted and put away till next year

More live music

On Friday we went to another "live gig" (is that different to a concert?). This time there was no travelling, as it was Paul Brady at Kendal's Brewery Arts Centre. We last saw him there in the 80's and apart from ageing at the same rate as most of the audience he hasn't changed. I don't think I mentioned how good the Spiers and Boden concert was at Arnside last week. Two people and two instruments made you forget that it was actually just a village hall with tortuous stacking chairs. It was unallocated seating, so we were there in very good time (I'm good at that) and had front row seats. The Paul Brady concert was also seated, but booked numbered seats. I had assumed that the Brewery seats would be a bit more comfortable. Wrong. And be careful which seats you book. We were on the third row - which should have had a good view - except for the pillars that were in my line of sight.

We made an evening of it and had a meal in the Brewery's Grainstore restaurant (which would have been good, if they had got my order right).

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Oh no it can't be true!

Surely I can't be the mother of a 40 year old?


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Mainly Badgers

We've had the camera pointed at a badger sett and have captured quite a view videos as it (or is there more than one?) goes about it's daily (and nightly) business.

More about grass

This year we are reseeding about 20 acres - with wheat and peas undersown with grass. After we've harvested the cereal (as wholecrop) the grass will be there for grazing and/or silaging.

We started by letting some cows out to eat off some of the grass, then spread loads of nicely rotted hull muck. Then the fields were ploughed before the contractor's really big tractors and machines came to cultivate, level and sow seeds. In between Henry and James have been stone (or boulder) picking. Then it will be final roll and prayers for gentle rain and no pigeons.

All this is taking place way down the fields invisible from the main road. So if someone (e.g. a contractor) miscalculates the rate and runs out of seed when he's drilling, it won't be seen by every passerby. But you also won't see what a wonderful crop we get!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Caught on camera

Just a small sample of the latest videos from our wildlife camera. When we checked it today there were about 80 clips - many at night, with no obvious wildlife. If something just and so comes near enough to trigger the camera, especially in the lower right corner, they don't always show. We've moved it again, so next week they may be something even more exciting. And many thanks to James and Michelle for watching all these clips and separating the wheat from the chaff.

Remember there is sound and vision (on the daytime ones) - so turn your speakers on!


Friday, 20 April 2012

At last!

The milk cows have gone out this morning - they are now galumphing down Brant Strickley. And we've seen at least one more swallow.
Summer is round the corner!

Photo from Jean at Over Bleaze - watching them come over the hill.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Out to grass

Another 17 in calf heifers out in the fields today

Looking Back

The Strickley Robinsons have spread beyond Strickley but keep in touch one way or another. Sometimes news reaches us via a circuitous route, as it was with this interesting clip on a website. We hadn't seen it till I got an email with a link that another family member had posted on Facebook (so Facebook has some use after all).

Anyway, click here to hear Henry's Uncle Wilson talking about changes in farming just after the war.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Was it a one off?

Yesterday a lone swallow was spotted at Strickley. It's not been seen since - maybe the overnight wind and rain caused it to change it's mind and head back to warmer climes.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Venues - a question of scale

Last month we went to see Chris Rea at Harrogate International Centre. This was in the rather grand main auditorium, seating 2000. Tonight we are going to see Spiers and Boden at Arnside Educational Institute - capacity 100 (including performers).

Saturday, 14 April 2012


You can hardly fail to have noticed that 15th April 2012 marks 100 years since the Titanic sank. The airwaves are awash with dramatisations, recollections and analysis (would it be disrespectful to mention "cashing in"?) A hundred years ago things were different; but as early as 1912 the first of many films were being made (click for list). And in an age before everyone had radios and records, but more people had pianos, sheet music was much more prevalent. Most young girls had piano lessons, and my Nan was no exception. Born in 1901 she would have been eleven when she carefully wrote her name on her copy of Haydon Augarde's "The Wreck of the Titanic - a descriptive musical sketch for the piano". With the help of sellotape the music has survived, and if you want to have a go at playing it click on the images below. And many thanks to Emily who played it for me.

In case the music itself doesn't convey the story, the sections are annotated.

Afloat on the ocean blue
The ship's bell rings for the departure of the Titanic
Smoothly sailing
Dance on board "The sailors two step"
An iceberg
Full speed ahead
Too late
Excitement on board
Lower the boats
Captain cried "Women and children first"
Lowering the life boats
Nearer my God to thee (sung on board the doomed ship)
The Carpathia arrives and saves many lives
Buried at sea - Chopin's Funeral March

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


The Easter Holiday has whizzed by in a flash. Despite snow in Derbyshire delaying Rob and Claire's journey by a day, we were all together for 5 hectic days. (six children and two dogs - not to mention seven adults - are always going to create a bit of mayhem).

While it wasn't as hot and sunny as a couple of weeks ago, it was mainly fine and we could get out in the garden, fields and wood or farther away. In between a few hours off each day, work continued (milking, feeding and mucking out of course, plus the last of the rolling, mole catching and painting the new Toilet Block).

Yesterday we hired a vibrating roller and finished off the new car park (all we need now are the gates).

But there was still time for plenty of fun and games with the East Bunny, who not only organised the Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday (complete with Treasure Map and rhyming clues), but also a quiz at night (though we're still arguing about some of the answers). So Thank You Elliot.

When it was too cold to play outside the boys still got their Football Fix.

And of course much food and drink was enjoyed. Many many thanks to Michelle who created a seemingly endless supply of "puddings"

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Bunny

Ready to give out clues for the Easter Egg Hunt

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Recycling or upcycling?

Another sign of Spring - our blackbirds have been busy nest building (we removed the old nest) - using a variety of interesting materials (including fat ball nets).

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday the temperature struggled to get above freezing (and wind chill was definitely below all day). The wind was from the north (with gusts up to 60 mph), and snow not too far away. But today the sun is shining (though there's not much heat in it) and just to show it really is Spring, we've turned out ten dry cows. At the moment they have ten acres of grass to themselves. We're planning on reseeding, so we need to get some grass eaten off before we plough.